When all the coursework toward the taught MSc is finished at the end of March, we move into the dissertation phase of the programme. The dissertation is intended to be an original research project allowing students to demonstrate their ability to apply the skills learnt on a long-term project. Writing is a great pleasure in life for me, and I very much looked forward to this part of the programme. My own project is a study of Green party politicians whose parties sit in opposition to the government (or administration) in their respective national, regional, and local polities.
So far, I have interviewed politicians from Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, and (of course!) Scotland. My travels to conduct my research have taken me to Reykjavík, Dublin, and Copenhagen, with some interviews conducted over Skype. I have had many opportunities to speak to those who serve others through politics and learn from them about what they do and why they do it. Not only this, but I have also had the chance to visit parts of Europe that I might not otherwise have had the chance to visit. Touring has been a very welcome bonus. The research I have conducted so far has been rewarding, and I am eager to share my eventual results with everyone.